Edited by Moazzem Hossain and Eliyathamby Selvanthan
Chapter 7: Climate Change, Vulnerabilities and South Asia: Issues, Challenges and Options
7. Climate change, vulnerabilities and South Asia: issues, challenges and options M. Adil Khan So if we carry on as we are, Bangladesh will enter its endgame . . . The headstone would read, Bangladesh, 1971–2071: born in blood, died in water. Hari 2008 7.1 CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS The Fourth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that ‘[W]arming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level’ (2007).1 Climate change affects everyone and cuts across sectors – rich and poor, rural and urban, farmers and industrialists, public and private, and central and local governments. The poor in developing countries are most vulnerable where population density is high, and there is high malnutrition, lack of sanitation and water supplies, weak infrastructures (schools, buildings, bridges), inadequate or no social support and limited income opportunities (Eakin 2005; IPCC 2007; WESS 2008). 7.1.1 Conceptualising Climate Change ‘Climate change’ is often referred to as changes in climatic averages and variability brought about by global warming. Independently of global warming, climate change on seasonal, inter-annual, decadal and multidecadal timescales takes place on a regular basis. Seasonal changes are so reliable that environmental and socioeconomic systems tend to adjust themselves well to these changes. However, even if extreme weather conditions occur on inter-annual (for example, floods, droughts), decadal (for example, tsunamis), or multidecadal (for example, earthquakes) 147 M2549 -...
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